Engineering for Change’s Research Fellow Ignatius Waikwa Wins a Prize and Advocates for Development Tech in a Kenyan Slum
November 24, 2015
Hundreds of products for comparison in one place: E4C’s Solutions Library is live
contributor: Rob Goodier
Re-invention of the wheel is one of the biggest mistakes in global development. Especially when that wheel is faulty. To avoid wasted investment and faulty wheels in the design and delivery of poverty-alleviating products, we have to start with what’s meeting (and not meeting) user needs. And we have to do it throughout the value chain.
That’s why Engineering for Change has been hard at work building a new Solutions Library of hundreds of products that meet basic needs. The Solutions Library is a due-diligence resource. It includes products designed to be accessible and appropriate for people in resource-constrained environments. We built this living database for designers, manufacturers and implementers who are looking for neutral, performance-based information on emerging and widely adopted technologies.
- “Which solution is appropriate for a particular context?”
- “What has worked and what has failed?”
- “Does a solution meet the need?”
These are common dilemmas we have heard from engineers and others in global development. They are starved for high-quality information that can enable due diligence and evidence-based decision making. One thing we’ve heard repeatedly from global development professionals is that new, unproven gadgets get as much, if not more, attention as proven products.
Global development efforts often suffer from repeat mistakes because information on prior-art is not readily available to the people charged with designing or implementing solutions. This leads to technology that doesn’t work – whether the reasons are technical, cultural, financial or a combination thereof – the end result is wasted investment.
With normalized data you can make side-by-side comparisons of multiple products.
That’s why we did this. We believe the Solutions Library is the first step in the long journey toward making informed decisions in global development and ensuring that communities benefit from higher quality solutions. Here you’ll find up-to-date market and engineering data. And with normalized data you can make side-by-side comparisons of multiple products.
The Solutions Library is the first step in the long journey toward making informed decisions in global development
You are invited to explore the innovations, suggest products for future integration into the library, share your experiences using these kinds of products in the field and discover new market opportunities. Please visit the Solutions Library, share it with colleagues and collaborators and contribute your feedback or solutions. Information is power, and fit-for-service solutions can start here: solutions.engineeringforchange.org.